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Monday, January 31, 2011

22 Months

Dear Asa,

Every time someone asks me how old you are it nearly slips out “Two,” and then I catch myself. “Well, almost two,” and then I must clarify “actually he’s just 22 months.” Just 22 months my love, and on the cusp of two.

It seems that the closer we are to that magic number, the more out of hand and unexplainable the tantrums become. They are nothing short of amazing these days – full on body contorting, screaming, kicking, flailing tantrums. Sometimes I expect it, I see it coming and I prepare. You’ve found the box of cookies and you’re sneaking to your room to consume them in private. But I caught you, and I can’t let you do that babe. So I tell you first how it’s going to happen. “Asa, you can’t have all those cookies. Please give the box to mama and I’ll share one with you.” “No” you shake your head. “Sorry buddy, that’s the way it goes” and I nab the box of contraband. First comes the yell, then your legs seem to lose all their strength and you collapse under the weight of your sorrow. You crumple to the floor, kicking and crying and the tantrum is in full swing. But other times its not so obvious. Other times it comes out of nowhere and sends us both flying. Like when I’m cleaning up the living room and come across a scrap of the newspaper that’s been torn off a page and nearly lost halfway under the couch. I grab it, crumple it up and head for the recycle bin. And just as I’m about to toss it in I see you out of the corner of my eye, body in flight as you throw yourself onto the floor in utter despair over….over what exactly I’m not sure. The moving of the scrap of paper? Was it perfectly placed? Or perhaps the throwing away? It’s always a mystery, because by the time I offer it back to you it’s too late. Way too late. Or when I peel you a banana and offer it to you. “No” you say, and shake your head. “No, thank you” I remind you and take a bite of the refused banana. And that’s when the world starts to come apart at the seems. That’s when you fall down in anguish and commence tantruming. There’s also the ‘take the shoes on or off tantrum’, the ‘moved the toy tantrum’, the ‘you closed the refrigerator door tantrum’ and, my personal favorite, the ‘I enjoyed that 15 seconds ago but now it is the worst thing in the world tantrum’.

New words tumble out of your mouth daily, though not always so clearly. So far finding and pronouncing the final consonant in a word – like the “k” in rock or the “d” in bed – is proving difficult. But put two together at the beginning of a word – like the “cl” in clock and the “tr” in truck – and you rock the heck outta those letters! You’ve also started to string a few words together, but usually backwards. It always makes me think that you’re speaking in a foreign language. Like when you pass my Steve’s littler box and have to remind us “Poo-poo yucky Steve”. Or when we’re driving down the freeway, “truck big!” I’m not sure whey you switch them around, but the point still gets across.

As much as you work on your words though, you are still more physical than verbal, preferring to work on your body and it’s ability. It’s really quite amazing my love. You’re this tiny thing, a small human with muscles and bones still growing and stretching and learning. And yet you can zoom through the obstacle course of a living room in mere seconds. You come screaming through the kitchen, dodge the stools, jump the yoga mat, avoid Steve and grab a dinosaur as you, literally, fly through the air in one leaping bound onto the couch. Where did you find the coordination for that?! And how about all these other physical capabilities – like slipping your shoes on and off, taking stairs with alternating feet, stacking blocks as tall as you, climbing ladders, kicking balls, throwing overhand, standing on one foot, spinning, somersaulting and jumping with both feet off the ground. How did you figure these things out already? It kind of blows me away. Asa, big as you may be for your age, you’re still only three feet tall and to see such athleticism from a miniature person, well, it’s almost startling. And I think it does frighten other people every now and then. They just don’t expect it, don’t see it coming. We’re just used to your acrobatics. Like when we’re playing with friends, running around someone else’s living room, playing with their toys and jumping on their furniture. And then you climb to the very back of the couch, the highest point in sight, and jump, with a tumbling roll, onto the carpet. Several parents leap to catch you, to help you recover, only to find you grinning from ear to ear. Or at the park when you eye the slide, tuck your head down and run right for it. You shimmy up the end and climb the whole way up the slide before you do a quick about face and throw yourself back down. It all happens so quick, you’re usually back on the ground and on to the next before there’s time to consider anything else.

Lately one of your favorite things to do it to stand on your dad’s back while he does yoga and balance there. I don’t know what made you think of it, but it’s just tops in your book. You stand up there as long as you can while your dad moves about. Sometimes you purposefully bail out, kicking your feet forward and thumping down onto your butt right on your dad’s shoulders. Sometimes you try to stand on one foot up there (with little success thus far) and sometimes you just leap off all together. You love it up there though and often proclaim that you are “Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig” while you stand up tall.

You love your shoes these days. Any of them really. And you often refuse to take them off when we get home. Or you insist on having them on while running around the house. You still like your hats too, especially trying on different ones and checking them out individually in the full length mirror.

My favorite time of the day is first thing in the morning. I hear you call from your room “Mama! Dada! Maaaamaaaaa!” and I heave my ever-rounding self out of bed. I heat up your morning baba and bring it with me as I open the door to your room. As soon as the crack of lights breaks in I see you grin. You’re standing up, hands on the rail or your crib. The smile spreads and you jump with excitement. We open your curtains to determine if its light or dark (usually dark) and switch your nighttime music off (Deep Breakfast by Ray Lynch). I carry you down the hall and plop you onto our bed. Then the three of us tuck in and snuggle while you finish your morning baba. We talk about the day and ask you what your dreams were. We hide under blankets and laugh in the semi-darkness. Its warm and cozy, sleepy and lovey and an absolutely perfect start to the day.



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